Drama education: An effective mean for civic education in primary schools

Chun Chor Litwin CHENG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Curriculum change in Hong Kong usually involved subject revision rather than curriculum framework consideration. Subject revision may improve the learning of the subject knowledge and enable a more effective teaching or assessment. However, such changes do not touch on the element of students' behaviour and attitude. Civic education in Hong Kong is implemented through subject contents of Arts and Crafts, Music and others, but the main burden of civic education is still on the subject General Studies. It is obvious that civic education at the moment is not effectively implemented in the primary schools, otherwise it cannot explain the increasing deviated behavioural problems among primary and secondary students. Reports on problems faced by school counselors suggest that it is time to rethink the curriculum structure of the primary school in Hong Kong at least for the betterment in civic education. The present civic education in Hong Kong primary schools is usually implemented by a) extra- curriculum activities, b) issues in the studies of general studies like drug education and sex education, c) seminar conducted by schools, d) assembly during school hours, and e) visits outside school hours. However, many of these involvements are passive and a more active learning process for the students in terms of their attitude is desired. As there are many constraints in the primary education, for example, bi- sessional mode is one, the inclusion of Drama in education is one feasible possibility as it enables students to participate actively in the learning process. The mode of operation of Theatre in Lducation in Hong Kong is mostly drama delivery to school plus one follow up discussion or drama workshop and games conducted by tutors employed by the subsided theatres. The workshops offered are usually performance linked, that is, related to a product like annual Parents' Night. Though there are certain encouraging effects for the students in terms of the building of their personality, the present drama delivery operation is not satisfactory both in terms of the small number of students involved and the essence of such workshops. The role of teachers and school principals in such"theatre in education" program are usually passive and the results are usually short termed. This paper will also review the current situation of theatre in education in Hong Kong and discuss the views and missions hold by the trainers involved in the project. Their feedback shows that drama activities can enable students to learn more actively on the domain of civic education. Issues like co-operation, identity, team work and confidence are best delivered by using drama activities. The author also suggests the revision of curriculum in local primary school to integrate drama in education so as to gain betterment in civic education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1996


Cheng, C. C. L. (1996, November). Drama education: An effective mean for civic education in primary schools. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 13th Annual Conference: Restructuring Schools in Changing Societies, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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